Ben Needham

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  • #344420

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    Ben Needham

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    @evilhomer – the only one I can think of is Vitantonio Liuzzi, who ended up in a Force India for a while before a quiet spell at HRT. Other than that there’s Speed, Alguersuari, Buemi, Vergne who all disappeared… the latter three all deserved better, but particularly Vergne I feel.

    Hope to see him back soon (maybe in a Williams?).

    #344354

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    @evilhomer – some really good point. I definitely agree that Alesi underachieved but he was desperately unlucky both on track and off track. His car failed him while in leading positions so often while in the Ferrari and also in the Benetton a few times. Alesi had the measure of Berger in my opinion, and Gerhard won 10 races, so it can’t have been a lack of talent. When Alesi signed for Ferrari he also had to worm his way out of a Williams contract he had already signed… a team that went on to near enough dominate the next 5-7 years. Poor Jean…

    Regarding the recent McLaren driver changes, they really did give the youngsters a kicking didn’t they? It has to be said though, I’d personally bin off most drivers if Fernando Alonso suddenly showed an interest.

    #344352

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    @evilhomer – I was really thinking of anyone, whether they got axed or maintained the seat. Michael Andretti is a great shout… but then he was lined up against Senna! Tricky for anyone.

    @kaiie – I remember Wendlinger as well as Frentzen being touted as another big thing… though he never got the opportunity to show it really after his Monaco crash in ’94 so perhaps we can’t count him. Frentzen only really had a Championship-worthy car in 1997 but couldn’t deliver (as Keith’s 1997 articles are showing). 1999 was stunning and after that he never had a great car.

    As for Heidfeld, he was desperately unlucky not to get the McLaren seat when Kimi did, as I felt they were a match in 2001. Heidfeld compared himself well to Alesi, Raikkonen, Massa, Villeneuve, Kubica… still underrated in my opinion.

    #343595

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    I’m with @xtwl – this one is really bothering me!

    I feel it must be a speed record… but then there’s something about them all retiring in 1957 that must be significant!

    A tricky one @keithcollantine!

    #342445

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    I think it’s difficult to produce a definitive list due to varying car performances, form and different team-mates. However, it’s fun to try and not too difficult to group them I feel. Personally I would do so as below:

    Tier 1
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel

    Tier 2
    Verstappen
    Ricciardo
    Bottas
    Hulkenberg
    Perez
    Sainz

    Tier 3
    Raikkonen
    Ocon
    Grosjean
    Kvyat
    Wehrlein

    Tier 4
    Magnussen
    Massa
    Ericsson
    Vandoorne

    Tier 5
    Stroll
    Palmer

    I’d also caveat this by saying that Vandoorne in particular needs more time, while Raikkonen/Massa are in decline. I’d suggest team bosses probably do a similar thing when choosing new drivers (not saying their groupings would be the same as mine!). For example, when Rosberg retired, Wolff approached Vettel and Alonso, both of whom could not be brought to contract for whatever reason, so he moved to Tier 2.

    #341894

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    I definitely agree that Palmer’s is one of the better one’s in the field. Call me old fashioned but I struggle when drivers change their helmet a lot (that Hamilton design is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen!).

    Of the current bunch, I think my favourite is Marcus Ericsson’s – a smart design with striking national colours:

    #341876

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    Ben Needham

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    A quick look over the candidates from my point of view (in order):

    Nico Hulkenberg
    I think Renault is his last shot, so he is totally reliant on them producing a front running car (or a bit of a fluke!). I think they’ll get there eventually, but does he have the nerve? He’s still yet to stand on the podium despite driving a Force India which occasionally managed it in the hands of his team-mate. I think he can manage it with a solid car and a couple of chances.

    Whoever eventually replaces Kimi Raikkonen
    This assumes that the Ferrari stays strong for a few seasons. Unfortunately I think that Romain Grosjean has missed the boat and the main candidates here are as follows; Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo or Antonio Giovinazzi. Obviously Ricciardo would be replaced in a potentially race-winning car himself, likely by carlos Sainz, who I think could win.

    Stoffel Vandoorne
    Vandoorne (like Hulkenberg) relies on his car/engine improving drastically, but he also has the problem that when it does, he has Fernando Alonso in the other car (assuming he sticks around). While his reliability issues mean we can’t draw too many conclusions about his potential yet; it’s fair to say that Alonso has been far quicker in every competitive session so far. Is he as good as his reputation suggests?

    The Rest
    A variety of scenario’s exist (nobody saw Rosberg retiring…), but it’s fair to say that drivers like Ocon/Wehrlein/Magnussen(?)/others could bundle their way into a top seat.

    If I had to bet on the next winner, I think I’d order my choices something like this:
    1) Hulkenberg
    2) Perez
    3) Sainz
    4) Wehrlein
    5) Ocon
    6) Giovinazzi
    7) Vandoorne
    8) Magnussen
    9) Grosjean
    10) Kvyat

    #340734

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    It’s an interesting question – and one that instantly has Murray Walker’s excitable yells running through my head!

    I think “hyping up” for me is very subjective and entirely depends on whether I believe the excitement of the commentator. With Murray you could almost feel his joy through the television even when he wasn’t talking. Nothing was ever forced with Murray and he always spoke from his heart. Supported by Martin Brundle/James Hunt etc, this made for a great combination of excitement and information, none of which was insincere.

    Take Jonathan Legard, for example, who did a two year stint for the BBC. While knowledgeable, I just never believed that he enjoyed Formula One as much as me (and the rest of the F1Fanatic’s) and felt that he just saw it as a job. Personally I don’t totally mind Croft/Edwards and I think they do a good job, but for me they are both missing a little of Murray’s buzz. But maybe I’m biased as Murray was quite literally the sound of my childhood.

    #337719

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    @xtwl – personally I’m less bothered about who wins the title than that we get a good fight for it; whether that’s between team-mates or a multitude of teams battling it out.

    I’d gladly see Vettel and Ferrari win the title as long as they were fought hard for it every step of the way! I don’t want to go into each weekend knowing that unless something remarkable happens, Hamilton will be the victor.

    #335883

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    I’ll start the ball rolling with ‘drivers to win their home GP multiple times’?

    #335192

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    Ben Needham

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    @davidnotcoulthard – they all recorded the Fastest Lap whilst winning their first Grand Prix?

    #335052

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    Ben Needham

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    @jackysteeg – very good! Over to you!

    #334977

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    @hunocsi – Nice one!

    Try this:

    Rubens Barrichello
    Gerhard Berger
    Mark Webber
    Keke Rosberg

    #334968

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    Ben Needham

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    The only drivers to win Le Mans and a Formula One Grand Prix in the same year?

    #334656

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    Ben Needham

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    @keithcollantine – works for me. I am well and truly stumped on this one… I wouldn’t like to admit how long I’ve spent on Pedro Diniz’s Wikipedia entry the last few days! … should probably get some work done!

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